Betting on sports adds endless entertainment to your sports viewing experience. If you do it right, it could also add a few dollars to your wallet.
With that being said, gambling on sports isn’t the best idea if you’re planning on diving in headfirst without gathering the necessary sports betting information to be successful.
After all, if you’re putting your hard-earned money on the line, you should be giving yourself the best chance to win.
With all the terms, types of bets to know, and numbers to remember, it might seem like betting on sports is complicated and comes with a huge learning curve. Although there is certainly some research that must be done before you make your first wager, you can bring yourself up to speed with a few hours of diligent study time.
If you want to join the thriving sports gambling community, take these steps before you get started.
1 – How Much Do I Bet?
Your bankroll is the single most important part of your sports betting strategy. It not only helps you keep track of how much you’re winning, but it prevents you from losing a huge chunk of money, or at least it’ll make it obvious if you do.
If you’re new to betting you may be unfamiliar with the term. Your bankroll is the pool of money you use to bet. It also acts as a guide in helping you determine how much money you should bet on any one particular event.
Creating and managing your bankroll isn’t difficult, but it does take some close monitoring. To set up your bankroll, set aside an amount of money you’d be okay with losing. In fact, treat it like a purchase where you don’t expect to get anything back. Hopefully, this won’t be the case, but it’s the right mindset to have.
Next, determine a percentage of your bankroll that you’ll bet on any single game. This helps prevent any big losses that drain your funds.
Most professional gamblers advise betting only between 2% and 5% of your overall pool, but you can determine the percentage based on your circumstances.
Keep track of the money coming in and going out, and make sure you aren’t borrowing additional funds for your bets.
2 – What Do Odds Really Mean?
You might think you know how betting odds work, but in order to be profitable, you need to understand it at a high level. Effective betting is all about recognizing value and capitalizing, and knowing the odds gives you the best chance to do that.
Regardless of which types of bets you make, each has different odds that must be considered.
Although this is very surface-level advice, remember that any time you’re betting a great deal more than you could win, it’s probably not great value. Look for ways to shift the odds, whether it’s through an alternate line or considering a different play, so that your risk vs. reward matches up more favorably.
3 – What Types of Bets Can I Make?
You may be familiar with how the spread works, but if you limit yourself to one type of bet, you’re not giving yourself the best opportunity to win over time.
With all the different options available to you, it can seem overwhelming to learn how each type of bet functions, but it’s important to add additional tools to your strategy.
Betting on the spread might be okay as a standard play, but always betting the spread means you’re almost always going to risk more than you stand to win when you factor in the juice.
Get familiar with how moneylines, parlays, teasers, and even prop bets work and you’ll find that there’s money to be made when you get creative. Be sure to do your research on each type of play to understand exactly what you’re risking and what you can win, and see if you find success with one more than the others.
It will come in handy once you have a solid data set to review.
4 – What Kind of Bettor Am I Hoping to Be?
Many amateur bettors treat gambling as a fun hobby that can occasionally put some extra beer money in their pocket. However, if you’re serious about making some money, you need to understand the mindset it takes to be profitable long-term.
Before becoming a regular sports bettor, you need to adopt a mindset that isn’t shortsighted or emotional.
You’re going to have bad days, weeks, and months, where it feels like you can’t win anything. Don’t forget that you’ll also have hot stretches that help build your bankroll.
The key to being a successful bettor is remembering that sometimes making the right play doesn’t always result in a win. It’s a hard concept to wrap your head around, but it helps to maintain consistency.
If you’ve done your research, considered all the factors of a game, make a play with high value, and still lose, chalk it up to the unpredictability of sports.
Rest assured, in the end, it will always pay to make smart bets even if you still miss a good percentage of the time.
If you’re making the right plays, you can get away with losing more than half of your bets and still come out ahead in the money.
If you’re making the right plays (meaning value), and are able to win more than half, you’ll have a nice little side hustle on your hands.
Keep in mind that the process takes time. This is why it’s key to only bet a small percentage of your bankroll. The longer you’re able to stay in the game, the better chance you have to make money in the long run.
5 – Which Sportsbooks Should I Use?
The good news is that, with the recent law changes regarding sports gambling, there’s never been a better time to get in on the action!
Plenty of online sportsbooks exist that can help you get started. The best thing about these sportsbooks is that nearly all of them will offer you some incentive to choose their site. These incentives can be a deposit-match, free entry into various group contests, or any number of promotional items. Although they might sound too good to be true, they’re absolutely worth taking advantage of when you get started.
It may seem like a good idea to get familiar with one particular sportsbook and do the majority of your betting on the same site, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
If you’re a beginner, utilize the promotions available to you on every sportsbook before settling into one that feels the easiest to use. Even then, it’s still not a good idea to always use the same site.
While most sites offer very similar odds, they won’t all be the exact same. Line-shopping should be an important part of your strategy.
Essentially, line-shopping is simply looking around for the best odds on a play you’re already planning on making. This is why it’s important to have multiple sportsbooks at your disposal.
Sports gambling is a growing industry that is becoming a truly enjoyable experience for fans of all sports. The best part is, almost anyone can learn how to do it.
Much like anything else, the more time and effort you put into honing your craft, the better the results. Read up on tips about sports gambling and create your own strategy. Test out different plays and betting sites and see what works best for you.